University of Delaware to Close Confucius Institute Amid China Tensions

Protestors gathering to support Pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong face Counter-protesters waving Chinese flags in the Place Saint Michel, central Paris, on August 17, 2019. - Ten weeks of protests in Hong-Kong have plunged the city into crisis and prompted mainland China to take a more hardline tone. (Photo by …
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The University of Delaware announced this week that it plans to end its ten-year partnership with the Confucius Institute, an off-shoot of the Chinese government. It joins 20 other American universities who are ending their relationships with the Chinese organization.

According to a student newspaper report, the University of Delaware announced this week that it plans to end its relationship with the Confucius Institute in 2020. The institute has been accused of bribing American colleges with funding in exchange for control over the discourse and messaging on China.

Despite concerns that the closure of the University of Delaware’s Confucius Institute, Associate Deputy Provost Ravi Ammigan claims that will not lessen resources for international students or students looking to study abroad.

“I don’t believe the UDCI situation will decrease service to international students,” Ammigan said in a short comment. “OISS ranks 19th globally for international students. I think that’s very telling.” This suggests that more universities around the country can suspend their relationship without risking the loss of student resources. In fact, more than 20 American colleges and universities have recently ended their relationship with the Confucius Institute.

Breitbart News reported this week that Senator Josh Hawley has continued his call for a federal investigation into the Confucius Institute. In a letter to the leaders of universities in Missouri, Hawley argued that the Chinese government is using the Confucius Institute to control speech on American campuses.

But Confucius Institutes are more than a means of cultural exchange. As Li Changchun, a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party, stated in 2009, the Confucius Institutes are ‘an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.’ Hanban is governed by the leaders of twelve Chinese ministries, including those handling foreign affairs, state media, and propaganda. Partnering universities sign contracts that prohibit them from ‘tarnishing the reputation’ of Hanban, and Hanban sends teachers and textbooks from China that are designed to promote a positive image of the PRC and suppress any discussion of the ‘three Ts’: Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen Square. These Confucius Institutes are, in short, a tool for China to spread influence and exercise soft power in its rivalry with the United States.

Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on the Confucius Institute.

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